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9 February 2021, 12:02
When is it too cold to walk your dog? Here's what you need to know...
While we might be dreaming of summer, the weather outside looks more like a winter wonderland for most of us.
And with snowy blizzards forecast across most of the UK, pet owners have been wondering whether it is still safe to take their four legged friends outdoors.
So, can you walk your dog in the snow and when is it too cold to take them out?
Even when it is snowing, experts say it is still important to take your dogs for walks to make sure they get enough exercise.
But if it is really cold outside, it might be better to stick to shorter walks or walks closer to home so that you and your dog can get inside and warm up if it becomes too chilly.
There are also some extra precautions that can be taken to make sure your pooch is kept as safe as possible.
Dogs Trust advise owners keep their dogs on the lead while walking through the snow, as well as ensuring they are microchipped and wearing a collar with an ID tag.
It’s also important not to let them walk on frozen ponds or lakes, as they could fall through the ice.
If walking when it's dark, the charity advises putting a flashing collar on them or a high-vis jacket, while a coat will also keep short-haired dogs warm.
Dr. Karlien Heyrman, Head of Pets at Pets at Home, adds that you can make a cold dog walk more enjoyable by preparing in advance.
She told the Express: “Dogs need to be walked regardless of the weather or whether it’s dark outside, but winter walks can still be made enjoyable by preparing in advance.
“I’d highly recommend reflective gear to make walking in the dark as safe as possible and a self-heated bed is the perfect way to warm them up afterwards.”
Once you are home from your walk in the snow, it’s a good idea to towel dry your dog's legs, feet, and stomach.
Salt and grit from the roads can also irritate their foot pads, so you should wipe down their paws.
You can read more about Dogs Trust’s cold weather advice here.